Process Page

Construction of "Memento Mori" from beginning sketches, to building, to packing.

Some words on process:
I almost always use a low-fire earthenware clay body that I make from scratch (Whiting 6.1, Talc 12.2, Silica 20.2, OM 4 Ball Clay 45.9) and then bisque fire to cone 04.  Sometimes I finish the work with glaze, underglaze, oil paint or a combination of all three.  Lately I have been primarily utilizing oil paints because not only do I love the process, but I love the look of the finished product.  Nothing parallels the delicious surface quality of oil paints as well as the depth attained by layering up a myriad of translucent and luminous colors.  I love the control I have over the oil paints and that there is no color unavailable to me, unlike underglazes.  I also like that what you see is what you get.  No surprises after opening a kiln!  As you can see, I primarily work with the slab method of construction in conjunction with press molding and slip casting.

Click here for an in-depth process statement.

1) original sketch plus life-size drawing          2) slab construction    3) modifying shape by removing wedges of clay       
4) compare to drawing 5) score & slip           6) Shaping from the inside with soft rib         7) shaping with soft rib
8) placing chest          9) placing neck          10) score, slip, coil      11) adding curve & length to neck        12) cut out triangle to curve neck
13) squeeze clay together                    14) draw on wedge shape                    15) remove wedge shape
16) pull neck forward, score, slip        17) Constructing head- slumping clay in a ball shaped plaster mold
18) compress clay with soft rib inside mold 19) remove                                     20) squeeze and turn the half round shapes into half-oval shapes
21) shaping oval head                          22) removing wedges of clay to turn oval shape into an animal-head shape
                                                                                                        23) paddling eye sockets into shape
24) constructing hind haunches           25) paddling indentation for hind haunch
26) score, slip & attach hind haunch                                                             27) pinch potting back feet
28) attaching back feet                         29) cut out shape for front legs            29) manipulating front leg and let it set up until leather hard
30) cutting & attaching front leg                                                                         31) construct tail from solid coil of clay
32) cut in half & hallow out tail              33) score, slip & put back together & attach to animal            34) construct ears
35) shaping ears with soft rib               36) adding coil to define ear shape       37) attach ear into hole in head (both leather hard)          
38) score, slip, add coil to join & blend                                                             39) construct body of top animal               40) remove wedge shape
                                    41) remove triangle   42) score, slip, add coils, blend        43) compare to drawing          44) add head
45) score, slip, add coil 46) add tail              47) score, slip, insert ear into hole        48) score, slip, add coil and blend
                                                              49) clean-up both animals with metal ribs                                50) Attach animals (both leather hard)
51) sand with heavy grit sandpaper     52) sponge out sandpaper lines & clean eyes with paintbrush 53)constructing bumblebees

54) making mold of bees- bedding out for plaster                                             55) constructing flowers and preparing to make mold

56) bedding out flowers for plaster                                                                    57) drying the finished molds

58) fire and remove from kiln                59) seal and underpaint with acrylic     60) first coat of oil paint

61) finished piece                                 62) pack piece using styrofoam insulation one layer at a time.

63) drawing on adjustments to be cut out with knife to ensure proper fit

                                                                                                                     64) glue in the first few layers into box

65) add animal                                     66) add the remaining layers of styrofoam
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